The researcher made the initial approach to the participants. The researcher works in the fintech industry and thus knows enough experienced, capable and available people. The companies selected have more than 20 employees, over 50+ agents, and 100+ users. Hence, it was possible to recruit 6 participants from each company. Senior managers in the selected companies were approached to seek permission for their staff to be contacted concerning participation in the research. First, the researcher approached participants directly through Ace Money Transfer, where he is the IT director. In the other case, regarding the two companies (Inter-City Money and HB Money Transfer), the participant were selected through SMS/emails and phone calls because the researcher had adequate contact with the potential participants.
Once contacts were made, the study’s aims and objectives were explained, and mutually convenient timeframes were established. Per the selection criteria, the participants possessed technical skills and understood how fintech works in response to cyber environments. The participants were supposed to be conversant with fintech design approaches, specifically the application of security techniques in software development. The participants were those who could present fintech concepts, problems, and solutions grounded on analytical, technical, and conceptual skills.
The were obtained before starting FGDs. The participants willing to take part signed a consent form agreeing to voluntary participate. The consent form was sent with the Participant Information Sheet (PIS). The signed the consent forms were returned to the researcher using the email address, [email protected] This to safeguard participants’ privacy, and the data collected was linked to the participants using anonymous numbers. The informed consent process provided the participant with adequate information about the study and signposted them where they could read the answers. The participants were given 72 hours to decide whether to participate. Participants were free to withdraw participation at any point. However, they were asked to give a 72 hours’ notice to help the researcher rearrange the focus group discussion by recruiting replacements. However, the study involved potential risks and burdens to the participants, and they include the following:
Inconvenience, discomfort, and distress: In response to this problem, the participants were given three days of preparation before the actual discussion date. The focus group discussions were allocated 30+ minutes. The PIS and consent form declared that the FDGs would be audio recorded, and before doing the recorded, the researched obtain permission. It was essential to conduct focus groups in a manner that was comfortable for all participants so that they could speak openly and honestly.
Legal issues: in response to these issues, it was mandatory to sign a consent form explaining that participants could exit the discussion at any time before giving 72 hours’ notice. It was made clear that a participant could not participate unless they had . The researcher followed the ethical guidelines and policies and obtained consent following the ethics application.
Privacy and confidentiality: in response to this problem, the participants were assured that they would be identified using anonymous numbers. The consent forms that were scanned, and uploaded to the University of Lincoln OneDrive protected using a strong password. Recordings were backed up using the University of Lincoln OneDrive. The collected personal data relevant to the study such as email address which was used for communications purposes only.
There were also potential benefits to participants. Participants got the opportunity to discuss and share ideas around the research theme. In the end, participants were better at understanding the user perspective in fintech because there was a broader range of insights, information, and ideas generated from their like minds. The discussion offered participants a room to voice their opinions about cybercrimes. It was interesting for them to meet peers’ interests in the research topic. It was an excellent opportunity of finding new information regarding new developments in protecting users from cybercrimes and building their confidence in fintech products that interest their field of practice.
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